Wednesday, December 10, 2008


I LOVE traditions. Especially holiday ones!

For Thanksgiving every year my family goes to an early movie while the turkey cooks. Now that may not sound that cool to you, but this is the one day I am more excited to see a movie than any other day of the year! My first memory of this tradition was going to see "The Little Mermaid", which of course was FABULOUS. Ever since then I have loved this tradition. This year we got to see "Twilight" which I had also been looking very forward to.

Another Thanksgiving tradition was playing BINGO for prizes later in the evening. Silly prizes like gum, Slinkies, Silly Putty, and cheap toys, but boy did I look forward to it! The prizes were even wrapped, so it was like a precursor to Christmas.

Christmas traditions were pretty "traditional" in our household. Reading the Christmas story, musical performances, goodies, sharing experiences, etc.

Since I moved out of my parents' house, my family started a different tradition. Some friends of ours purchased elf costumes from the movie "Elf." Some of us dress up in these costumes, then we go to the hospital and visit patients' rooms to sing them carols and deliver goodies donated by the hospital. My dad or brother plays the guitar while we all sing. It's a great way to start the morning and feel the true meaning of Christmas!

My parents' gift to their friends also became a tradition. My dad made tons of home-made salsa while my mom and the kids decorated gift bags and loaded them up with tortilla chips. Soon enough people began talking about "Kevin's Home-made Salsa" and wanted it more often than just Christmas! I enjoyed going out and delivering with my family. Even more though I loved looking at all the Christmas lights!

My Dad organizes a program every Christmas Eve. Everyone is assigned to participate whether it's a story, an experience, or a musical performance. It really invites the spirit in and helps us reflect on the most important thing in life...our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. By the end of the evening most of us have shed a tear or two.

My grandma Wannie always makes delicious goodies, and when away from her, even sends them to us! Her Honey Candy is amazing. Cassie has even started making it the last couple of years. I don't even want to take on that task. Honey Candy is SO hard to make! I also love the home-made fudge (MINUS the nuts) and Butter Balls (Aunt Donna's favorite!).

This is how Christmas morning went at our house. We had to wait until 7:00 to get our parents up. I was usually the one to go wake up the siblings, then we'd go in together and tell them to get up! It's Christmas! (Of course before all that I'd go take a little peek under the tree. We'd all be in our jammies. The BIG gift, usually covered in a blanket, was from Santa. We'd start with that. Then on to the stockings, also left by Santa, then to all the wrapped gifts from each other under the tree. We would take turns opening presents, one at a time.

While we would clean up, Dad would make a big breakfast of his scrumptious omelets complete with onions, green peppers, tomatoes, avacados, and cheese. MMMMazing I tell you!

We kids would neatly lay our gifts on our beds and admire our new treasures. We'd call our friends and tell each other what we got for Christmas.

When I was a little older we got a ping pong table for Christmas. Inviting friends over and playing "Around the World" became something we started to do every year as well.

We couldn't end the day without a yummy honey baked ham, augratin potatoes, rolls, salad, and veggies. Oh how I love the holidays!

I remember the feeling of Christmas in my home. There was Christmas music humming throughout the house all day every day. The candles and baking goodies brought a sweet aroma, warm feelings and excitement. This time of year always seemed a little more peaceful and a little more filled with love.

I only wish I would keep those feelings with me all year long.

Tell me your traditions! I want to start more and would LOVE ideas!


Schuyler said...

Fun traditions Angie! One of our tradtions was that all the presents were from Santa. I didn't even know that people only got one santa gift until a couple years ago. All our presents were from Santa- he spoiled us:) I don't think we'll continue that tradition. One tradition we are going to do when we have kids is the Christmas Calendar- I'm not sure if I've told you about it. Starting December 1st, we'd each get a little $1 wrapped present from my mom each day. This would go until Dec. 24th. It was so much fun. She'd hide them for us and then give us a hint of where they were hidden, so we'd be running around the house looking for them. When we got older she would just offer us $24 bucks instead. That's my favorite tradition I had growing up and thinking about it gets me so excited to start it with our family!

jeanine said...

Fun! Rich always talks about your dad's salsa! He gave us the recipe for our wedding and I think it was Rich's favorite gift! (We make the salsa all the time by the way and it is GREAT!)

jeanine said...

OH... and one of my favorite traditions growing up was how we opened presents. While sorting through the gifts we would take all the presents we bought and put in our own pile (instead of who they were actually for). Then we'd go around and take turns GIVING the present to that person. It was fun to choose who got to open their presents. We were always so excited for them to see what we got for them.

Donna Black Davis said...

Oh, I love those holiday traditions, too! Of course, since your mom and I came from the same family, we have a lot of the same traditions. I LOVE your dad's breakfast. Nothing better than that...also Wannies honey candy. Yum. I Love the picture of Miley. She lookes just like YOU, my dear! Love and miss you.

Jeni said...

That picture of Mylie at the top of your blog is SO dang cute. I love it.

Jeni said...

That picture of Mylie at the top of your blog is SO dang cute. I love it.

Linda said...

I loved reading about your traditions; such an important part of having a "together" family. The picture of Mylie is so cute.

Whitehorn Family said...

what a fun read and I want to taste some of that salsa, Is the recipe a secret?

Brittanie said...

So fun! I would love to taste your Dad's salsa. Sounds yummy. My parents always give cheese balls to their friends and it is kind of the same deal... everyone asking for them and expecting them. They were easy to make and we always did it as a family.

Other traditions:
-Santa would leave each person their favorite box of cereal (we never got fun cereals as a kid so this was a special treat).
-doing the 12 Days of Christmas for someone secretly.
-loads and loads of Christmas music.

The picture of Mylie is so cute and she really does look like you! What would that be like;)

Mary said...

I have really enjoyed reading your blog. You have a darling little girl. She looks so much like you. I will talk to you soon. Merry Christmas!!

Joni said...

Wow! Reading your thoughts and feelings about our holiday traditions really warmed my heart. Sometimes I underestimate myself as a mother and wife and feel like I come up short. The things you wrote made me feel like I did a pretty good job instilling some great traditions. Thanks for sharing! I do love that picture of Mylie. She is so adorable. You need to get us a 5X7!

Sharron said...

What fun traditions! I am a little jealous. too many of our traditions have kind of gone by the way side. Must correct that!

So how about the recipe? They must have started that after you all moved to OK! I feel a little bit cheated ... ?!?!?

Angie said...

yeah it WAS after we moved to Oklahoma. i guess i need to get the recipe on my blog. i think some others would like to have it too!

Becky said...

Hi Angie, You can visit our blog for details on some of our traditions which include 12 Days of Christmas, cinnamon rolls for breakfast on Christmas morning, making Rocky Road for school teachers, etc.

I just discovered your blog through a link on Rachel's. Wayne and Richie are cousins. We're looking forward to getting to know you better!

Kecia said...

Angie and Richie,
Traditions, hmmm. We all get together Christmas eve for the nativity pageant (acted out by the children), to eat weiners in bbq sauce and drink hot cider. Everyone opens one present that is a toy (mom started this so that her young children would have a new toy to play with when they wake up at 3 AM and want to open presents), and a pair of PJ's. In the morning, between 6 and 7 (depends on how persistent we were) we'd all line up in the hall. Dad would get the camera ready (the Christmas lights stay on all night on Christmas eve) and we'd run in. We'd each open a present one at a time, starting with the youngest (I liked that tradition, I was always first). We'd always get green olives, an orange, a banana and a pear in our stocking (plus little knick knacks or school supplies). Santa's presents were never wrapped. Mom and Dad's were always wrapped. That's all I can think of now.

I also wanted to mention that I watched the Wizard of Oz today...Richard remember the Wymount Wicked Witch and the sprinkler episode? :D

Kris said...

Ang! I hope you have a merry christmas! I'm headed to NY to intern to be a Child Life Specialist. You work with children and their families in children's hospitals. Should be fun!

- we open a present on christmas eve which is always pajamas
- growing up we did the 12 days of Christmas with 2 other family friends in the ward. We would pick 3 or 4 families in the ward to do a secret 12 days to. Our family and the other families would each have 4 days we were in charge of. Then on the 12th day, we would all go caroling to the families and they'd all be so surprised to see so many involved.

John and Tiff said...

Hey Angie, thanks again for coming to visit. We loved seeing you guys and finally meeting Mylie. You are an awesome family!

jeanne michelle said...

I want more pictures of Mylie! I miss that cute little stinker =)I also enjoyed reading this post! Brings back many memories of Christmases past. Love you!

The Meade's said...

Angie, I have not responded to this post because I thought my Christmas traditions were not different from everyones...really....and to some point they still might not be. on Christmas Eve we have our big Christmas dinner because my mum doesn't want to be in the kitchen on Christmas day she wants to spend family time (don't blame her, I would like to do this when Rich and I have kids) (the Meade's have the big dinner on Christmas day) After dinner we each get to open one gift, it is always PJ's or now we are older somthing to do with sleeping ie. slippers, robe, PJ's. On Christmas day our gifts are in groups with our Christmas socking, that is how we know what group of presents are ours because my mum wrapes each persons gifts in the same paper insteade of using labels. Then we take turns opening one gift at a time that we chose to open. The Meade's have labels and all the gifts under the tree and dad plays santa and hands them out one at a time, and the stocking is found Christmas morning on the foot of your own bed. The rule to the stocking is everything in it is from Santa and you can open everything in your stocking as soon as you get up, and there is ALWAYS a pair of new disney socks! (Rich and I will do a combination of the two) Oh I forgot on Christmas Eve in the Meade's house they always leave out a mince meet pie and drink for Santa and a carrot for the raindeer. (very British) as for Thanksgiving traditions oddly enought the Meade's don't have any!! and the Utley's don't really have different ones then everyone else.. dinner, games, general family time. love ay guys xxxx

Shaharac said...

Mylie IS SOO much cuter in real life, and she is pretty dang cute in pictures too! Send me your email, I have very cute pictures from our Christmas party at Wannies. Thanks so much for stickin around, it was so great to see you and mostly her : )

Mommas said...

Angie - This comment is a little late, but I just wanted to say how much we enjoyed sharing some good old Newman/Whitaker traditions with you this Christmas. The only one we didn't continue from my childhood to my children was ham and eggs for breakfast. My children didn't like eggs - at least Rachel and Patrice didn't, and I don't think the boys did until they were older. Somewhere along the line Christmas breakfast changed to coffee cake and hot chocolate, which you did have. Love you!